As we make the transition out of the ‘start-up phase’ – which was marked by a focus on establishing the programme and making our work known to partners and stakeholders— the organisation has added a new team charged with ensuring the programme remains meaningful, effective and robust. 

Programme Assurance was created to provide stakeholders confidence that the ASC Standards are effectively implemented and audited. Members of the team are based in and near key areas including the Netherlands, the United States of America and Vietnam to cover the global scope of the programme as they perform their core duties, which include:

  • Continuously improving ASC  Certification and Accreditation methodologies to add more value to stakeholders
  • Training auditors to deliver audits that meet ASC intent and the market demand
  • Closely collaborating with ASI to effectively and efficiently oversee performance of accredited certification bodies and their auditors
  • Closely collaborating with the MSC – who runs the ASC Chain of Custody certification programme – to ensure product integrity
  • Constantly developing, implementing and improving tools and methodologies to deliver the above services.

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ASC shrimp product monitoring in Vietnam

In response to concerns on antibiotic contamination, the MSC on behalf of ASC will roll out a 12 month antibiotics sampling program on Vietnamese ASC shrimp at the first point of Chain of Custody (CoC).

From 1st August 2018, all CoC certificate holders operating in Vietnam that wish to handle ASC Whiteleg shrimp (L.vannamei) will be subject to inspection. Affected CoC companies in this instance shall allow the MSC or ASC, their certification body or a representative from the accreditation body to collect ASC certified products traceback records and samples for product authentication (as per clause 5.5 in CoC Standard v4.0).

As per the ASC Aquaculture Shrimp Standard v1.0, any product receiving medicated feed or antibiotic will not be authorised to carry the ASC label. In this case, contaminated products become non-eligible for sale as ASC, and should be handled following the Chain of Custody(CoC) Standard ‘non-conforming product procedure’.

To learn more about this work, please email Shen Yan Liow (, MSC Supply Chain Standards Manager for Southeast Asia.


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